“It’s my birthday month.”

Birthday FreebiesContrary to what others might say about me, I don’t really like being the centre of attention, and as such, I don’t really like throwing a birthday party for myself. If I do have a big party (which I have for the past couple of years), it’s because I want all my friends to have fun. That being said, I use my birthday as an excuse to get anything I want, and I celebrate all month long.

This year, I spent my birthday walking around downtown Toronto to collect all my birthday freebies that different companies offer! Starbucks gives you a big fancy birthday drink, Menchies gives you a free froyo cup (up to $5) and as most girls know, Sephora gives you different birthday gifts every year. Yes, all of these perks come with memberships, but they’re all free to sign up, so why not!

A couple other places that give you free things are Tuckers Marketplace and Wok of Fame (free buffet dinner), Booster Juice (free drink coupon), Pickle Barrel (app/dessert with purchase of entree), What-a-Bagel (free 6 bagels with purchase of 6 bagels), and Spoonful (1/2 price buffet dinner). There are a bunch on this list that I found online.

Lou Dawgs

Lou Dawg’s – 589 King St W., Toronto

So I woke up on the noon of my 24th birthday with a hankering for BBQ. I had been having flashbacks to our outing that had included the Lancaster Smokehouse in Kitchener, so I headed out to the closest place to the condo, Lou Dawg’s BBQ. I’ve seen a few Lou Dawgs around, and the Belly Monsters informed me that they weren’t bad. I had a breakfast birthday beer followed by their two meat platter — pulled pork and brisket — which came with two sides — coleslaw and baked beans, my weakness. I also ordered a cheesy jalapeno cornbread, because really, who can say no to that combination? The platter ($14.99) is a great value and it comes with a bun sliced in half for you to make sandwiches if that’s what your heart desires.

Now, I don’t know why I broke my rule of never ordering pulled pork at a restaurant. It is always disappointing and this one was no different. It tasted like what I can make in my slow cooker. I put it in the bread with my coleslaw, which made it marginally better.

The brisket was a little better. Soft, delicious, but sitting in a pool of grease and fat smothered in barbecue sauce. However, when you drain the fattiness at the bottom from the meat, it is actually quite delicious. They also serve the bbq with two different sauces on the side. The hot sauce is not so hot.

The cornbread was a muffin with pieces of japaleno in it. It was really yummy but disappointingly dry. The cheese on top was crispy and chewy and delicious. I did love the coleslaw and baked beans though. The beans were smokey and perfectly sweet. The coleslaw was the right about of tangy and crunchy. The sides were definitely the highlight of the whole lot, along with the funny and upbeat bartender/waiter.

boston pizza

Boston Pizza – 2915 Eglinton Ave W., Mississauga

Yes, I do not only eat at independent restaurants. We actually eat at chain restaurants quite often when we’re trying to please everyone and just need a quick bite. This night was just some wings and desserts. These Caesars were probably the worst Caesar I’ve ever had. The bacon was bleh. There was too much vodka, and not enough tomato flavour, or any other flavour really.

The big round thing in the middle is what they call a “Doughcano.” It’s their chocolate explosion cake wrapped in pizza dough, baked, then topped with whipped cream. It was chewy, with thick fudge in the middle, and oh man. It was perfect. Chewy, sugary, and a huge hit of chocolate if that’s what you’re craving. my only complaint is that the cheesecake tasted and felt more like marshmallows than cheesecake.

The panookie on the right is always a good bet. A giant chocolate chip cookie that’s pan-fried, then topped with ice cream, whipped cream, chocolate and caramel sauce. A nice dose of sugar. The edges are crispy and the inside is chewy.

d hot shoppe

D Hot Shoppe – 4155 Fairview St, Burlington

D Hot Shoppe is a Caribbean/West Indian restaurant that has been recommended to me over and over again by both Dave (@1goatroti) and Justin (@the_Jmoney). On the left is a goat roti drenched in medium gravy and on the right is a doubles, which is a deep fried dough traditionally stuffed with curried chickpeas. They put chutney in it and I asked them to put chicken in it too. They do not look appetizing to someone who’s never had them before but DANG. So good. I’d go eat here twice a week if I were nearby. If you can handle spice, I would still recommend getting the medium. I thought I was soo strong and ordered the hot level the first time I ate at D’s and I regretted it for a few days as it burned through my digestive tract. It was still delicious though.

French ToastPhoenix Chinese Restaurant – 4040 Creditview Rd, Mississauga

A pretty normal Chinese restaurant where you can get your noodles and rice and sweet and sour pork. That beast up there is what they called French toast with peanut butter. It is a pretty dense, sweet bread with peanut butter spread in the middle, deep fried, and then you smother it in more butter and maple syrup. It is deadly. It is delicious.

St Louis

St. Louis Bar & Grill – 6485 Mississauga Rd, Mississauga

My friend Audrey has been obsessed with Caesars lately, and rightly so. They’re delicious. I love it when my caesar comes with a pickled bean. Yum yum.

The burger was quite good, but I just needed a second to rave about these sweet potato fries. Ultra yummy with just the right about of crispiness and potatoeyness still in the middle. They even serve it with a spicy mayo — perfect.

MilestonesMilestones – 10 Dundas St. E. (Yonge & Dundas), Toronto

The Tuesday Peach Bellini special at Milestones is great! It’s like a slushie made of Tim Horton’s peach drink, but not as disgustingly sweet. Then it’s topped with a flavoured vodka, and apparently an animal of the deer variety. The boys were feeling too manly to order one for themselves even though they really really wanted one.

The white chocolate cheesecake is BEYOND. Just beyond beyond. Soft, sweet, decadent, light, with some coffee underneath, whipped cream at the top. Smooth. Take-me-home-to-yo-momma delicious. Tuck-me-into-a-bed-of-rose-pedals-and-make-love-to-me delicious.

Couple Photo

And lastly, the dude that made my birthday outings possible by spoiling me.

I hope all your birthday wishes come true around the world! If they don’t, make them happen.

 

 

 

 

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What is this?

This is a new blog, to update you, cher(e) reader about my life because it is oh-so-brilliantly exciting. And because you love me so.

Along with moving away from the Montreal area that’s been my home for just about six years, I’ve also vacated blog posts from my tumblr account. Though, I will still be posting random photos and videos over there.

June 29, 2010

Dan Potthast, the Wonder Years, the Supervillains, and Streetlight Manifesto. We went to see them at the Metropolis.

Taking a Photo

This was my second time seeing Dan Potthast in concert. Clad with his black glasses acoustic guitar, he stood on the stage, solo, interacting with the crowd, and with not a bit of uncertainty or nervousness. None that I could see anyway. He sang ‘Fan’. First time I saw him, he introduced that song by saying it was written when he locked himself in his room for a couple weeks, and eventually ran out of things to write about. The song is about a ceiling fan. I think. He also took out a camera in the middle of the performance and took a picture of the crowd. And then of himself and the crowd. Glorious.

The Wonder Years were nothing special in my eyes. The lead singer danced oddly. More punk rock, less ska.

I had heard a couple of songs from the Supervillains and they are so ska it hurts. A beautiful blend of ska and chills reggae beats. Wonderful energy on stage. Mr. Saxophone player (google tells me his name is Jonathan Cestero aka Smally) was wearing a Spain jersey because Spain had beaten Paraguay that day in the semi-finals? Quarter finals? The one where there are eight teams left. I had worn mine too, but left it in the car because I didn’t want to ruin it. I was still wearing red though. I shouted, “Españaaaa!!!!” but he didn’t hear me, seeing as he was on stage and playing songs and whatnot. But after the show, on our way out, we passed the Supervillains table and he was standing there. I shouted for Spain again, and THEN I HUGGED HIM. OH MY GOD AN ACTUAL (kind of ) CELEBRITY HUG. WOOOO. I thought that was the highlight of my night. But moving on…

Partial group photo - Too many members to fit into one shot

Backtracking to Streetlight Manifesto’s set: They were headlining yet again, and this was my fourth time seeing them. As always, right up front, pressed against the gate. Beautiful. Of course, the biggest name in third wave ska, aka punk ska, etc etc. They always put on an amazing and energetic show. The security were very friendly, spraying us with water. My hair got caught on a crowdsurfer’s something and I was nearly decapitated. It was fun. Hohoho. After the show, Adrienne got a set list and because she loves me, she gave it to me to keep and it was wonderful. After the show, we said goodbye to Claire, and went for a beer. The new Station Sports at Berri is huuuge.

Here is the best part of the story though, on our way back to the car, we passed Streetlight’s tour bus. I saw people. I jumped and waved. It was awesome. And then Adrienne and Andrew convinced me to go ask for an autograph. I hesitated, but then I went. Luckily, before the concert, my overactive imagination convinced me to bring a sharpie, and that I did. I went up to the bus (those things are mighty tall), jumped up and down to get their attention, and then I think it was Mike Brown (Mr. Saxophone) who came out and they brought out Tomas Kalnoky (holy crap I’m still freaking out) and he signed my setlist.

[Insert mega freak out]

I tried to play it cool. It didn’t work. It was Judy gone into hyper fangirl mode. I talked very fast and I don’t remember what I said, but it was the greatest moment of my life. Andrew, I want that video. And then I walked to my car.

And while driving them home, I started crying of joy. I was not my most gracious moment, I’ll admit.

June 30, 2010

My entire life fit into the whole of my little Honda Civic. Well, save for a bookshelf and my books. How I miss them, but there just wasn’t enough room in the car. I will be going back in a couple of weeks to pick that up and a few other knick-knacks that I left behind. I drove down to my new home. It took about 7 hours because we were stuck in Montreal traffic for a while. Half of the way was in the dark, and I have learned that I do not enjoy driving in the dark. Not one bit. Well, long distances anyway.

July 1, 2010

I went to a barbecue for my cousin’s birthday. I was hot.

July 2, 2010

Errands

July 4, 2010

Beach times

July 5, 2010

OCAD orientation, where I met up with another Montrealer whom I went to college with for three years. And then met another Montrealer who knew this other person that I went to college with for three years. It was a long day. I was there from 10:30 till about 5 pm. A fun day, but a long day. First day by myself since I got to Toronto, and I was talked into signing up for a new credit card. Woo!

I was making my way back to Sauga from OCAD and was driving through downtown Toronto in rush hour. As I passed the traffic lights however, I noticed that none of them were on. For some reason, I just thought that Toronto turned off their traffic lights during that time (wtf?). And then I passed by an intersection and a business type man was directing traffic. That’s when I realized there was a power outage. Didn’t know it was so big though. Anyway, as the man was directing traffic, people standing on the corners and in the cars were smiling and taking pictures of him as if it was so weird for someone to be doing such a nice thing. I’ve seen a few minor black outs in QC and this just always seemed like the norm for me to have someone there directing traffic. Oh Toronto, that’s discovery number 1.

July 6, 2010

Uruguay vs Netherlands game

Tiny sofa... or giant lamp?

Claire and Adrienne came to  visit me for the day from Montreal. What wonderful friends I’ve got. We went through antique shops in Parkdale to look for furniture for Claire’s new apartment. I bought this delicious hot pepper sauce from one of the stores. I tried it on some chicken, and also with korean bbq. It is so delicious. Can’t wait to try it on my burger at this Saturday’s barbecue. It was a very pleasant visit, and we walked a lot. It was HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT.

July 7, 2010

VIVA ESPAÑA

Claire and Adrienne left. I watched the Spain vs. Germany game. SPAIN WON. It was glorious. Too many German fans were smack talking me for being a Spain supporter, so I guess we showed them eh. Thank you to Puyol for this game. Woo.

Nachos and Stella

And then I went to the London Tap House, I think it’s called, in downtown Hamilton with my cousin to celebrate the win, where we had beer and nachos. The nachos were amazing. Like SO amazing. With cuts of medium rare steak cubes and freshly made guacamole. So freshly made, that when we asked for some on the side, the server told us that we had to wait a few minutes while they made some more.

July 8, 2010

I did chores. And wrote this post. Later on, CV+Jobs. :D